People could easily assume that because I started road cycling in the Alps and enjoy a lot of mountain roads that I am some sort of hardcore super duper speedy cyclist. Alas, I am not, not by any stretch of the imagination! I cycle for coffee and cake – coffee is essential – and both are strong staples to any cyclist!
New to cycling on my own, having now cycled back from France I suddenly believe I am capable of a lot more than I thought before. So I decided this Sunday just gone to get dropped off by my parents by the Devon Expressway and head out to Dartmoor on my tod. Dartmoor is a haven for anyone who loves the outdoors, be it camping, fishing, cycling, walking, or just enjoying down time by little rivers. I saw many families splashing around in streams, much like I did as a child.
Idyllic as it may sound, the narrow steep lanes of Dartmoor very nearly broke me! I have always thought people who cycle in England are slightly mad – what with the traffic, the weather, the potholes; and cycling around Dartmoor confirmed this!
I plotted a route on Ride With GPS to go from Ivyrbidge to Harford Bridge Campsite and then over to Widecombe in the Moor; approximately a 65km ride. Maybe I was tired and my legs weren’t fully working but I think it was one of the most unenjoybale 65km rides I have ever done!
Being beasted up 20-25% hills to be greeted with vast flat planes followed by short sharp decents which you end up dreading rather than enjoying because you can’t just let you hands come off the breaks for fear a car will screech around a corner, and also on Dartmoor when there is a down, there is inevitably a short steep up. Having said all this, there are of course worse places to cycle and I will be back I am sure! I am already looking up dates of Dartmoor classic and other sportifs that I will most probably give it a go. If Exmoor is anything like Dartmoor than no wonder their sportif is called the Exmoor Beast!
Cyclists of Dartmoor – I salute you!